Are Rawhide Dog Bones Safe?

Rawhide Dog Bones - Standard Poodle Looking at Rawhide on Plate

A Review of Rawhide Dog Bones

Rawhide dog bones are one of a large variety of dog chews available in today's pet supply market.

Reasons Dogs Chew

  • Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs
  • It helps to relieve teething pain
  • “Feel Good” endorphins are released that relieve anxiety or boredom
  • The chewing helps to clean teeth and strengthen their jaw


Rawhide dog bones can satisfy your poodle's need for chewing. But are they safe and natural?

We at Standard Poodle Owner do not recommend rawhide dog bones. And we think you'll agree after reading this review.

How Are Rawhide Dog Bones Manufactured?

Rawhide Dog Bones - Large rawhide boneRawhide dog bones are not actually "bones" at all. Nor are they a dehydrated form of meat.

They are a by-product of the leather industry, mostly derived from cow or horse hides.

Because there are very few tanneries in the United States, animal hides are exported to other countries for processing. Consequently, most rawhide products sold in this country originate outside of the US, especially from China.

The FDA does not regulate the processing of rawhides, because they are a by-product of leather, not "food".

The Manufacturing Process

  1. Chemicals are used to preserve the hide and separate the inner and outer layers. The outer layer is used for clothing, handbags, automobile interiors, shoes and so on. The inner layer of the hide is the part used for rawhide dog bones.
  2. Hydrogen peroxide, bleach and/or formaldehyde is used to whiten the inner hide and get rid of the rotten smell.
  3. The hide is then cut and rolled into various shapes and sizes. Glue is added to make them hold their shape. Dyes and synthetic flavors are added to enhance the appearance, smell, and taste.

Check out this entertaining but not so funny video by Rodney Habib of Planet Paws.


Safety Risks of Rawhide Dog Bones

Choking or Obstruction Risk

Rawhide dog bones are very brittle. They are more difficult and take much longer to digest than food.

Additionally, any chunks that break off and are swallowed can pose an esophageal or intestinal obstruction risk, which could result in an emergency visit to a vet clinic.

What type of chewer is your poodle? For aggressive chewers, the risk of swallowing chunks of rawhide is much greater than if he's a more gentle chewer.

SpokesPoodle LaceyPoodle Health Tip – Always monitor your poodle while he is eating any type of bone or dog chew. If he breaks off large chunks, remove them immediately and throw away the bone when it gets small enough that he could swallow it whole.

Toxic Ingredients

Beyond the choking or obstruction risk, most rawhide dog bones contain chemicals and additives that are harmful to your poodle.

Never buy rawhides that are sold in bulk, which provide no ingredient label or country of origin.

If you do choose to purchase rawhide dog bones, make sure the ones you select are manufactured in a country with strict safety guidelines, such as the US, Canada or New Zealand.

Avoid rawhide bones that contain:

  • Food coloring or dye
  • Preservatives
  • Artificial flavoring

A Safer Alternative

For the reasons outlined above, we do not recommend the purchase of rawhide dog bones for your poodle. However, we can suggest a safer alternative that you will feel good about.

Dr. Mercola Dental Chew Bones are completely digestible, contain no harmful ingredients, clean teeth, freshen your dog's breath, and come with a 100% money back guarantee.

Watch as Dr. Karen Becker describes the benefits of this vet recommended dental bone for dogs.



Teeth Cleaning Tips Dental Health Blog Page

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